tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC November 25, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST
nothing, or did you circle the wagons so tightly that you left out a majority of the country? that's the question that may take the republicans now four years to answer. did we go too right on taxes, immigrati immigration, foreign policy or were we too moderate, not ideological enough? one thing you can never be wrong on. if you lose, you can't brag. if you lose, everybody gets in, everything you did and nobody's going to admit he's wrong or she's wrong. joy reed is managing editor and jonathan is a bloomberg view columnist, both are msnbc plirt c political analysts. it seems like if you look at the trial balloons for 2016, you see the two directions in the party. there's people like rubio down in florida who's talking about the seven days of creation again. and then you've got on the other end of the world, you've got chris christie talking about how many days it's going to take us to clean up this mess from sandy. one's living in the secular real world. one's off in that theological, ideological ethereal world that the right likes to get into.
joy, you're shaking your head. they haven't decided whether to go sky high into ideology with the old testament or to try to become a more modern party yet. >> i think you picked the right person to focus on, rubio, because he seems to be at the crossroads. there's three wings the party. the evangelical right, the business wing of the party, and then you've got the sort of joe the plumber wing which is the tea party. now they all sort of rushed into the void created by the economic recession with the business wing deciding they wanted one of their own to be president, mitt romney, with the evangelicals deciding to legislate on morals, contraception and abortion, doing that very aggressively after 2010. and then with the tea party saying no, we're going to impose small-government austerity on the rest of the country. all three collapsed in this election in 2012. and now they've got to decide which of them is strong enough to survive. now, my personal theory is that the business wing was always the strongest wing and will be the surviving wing. you can hear that in this talk
of loosening immigration. i think they're the ones who are going to try to assert themselves, but that's across purposes with the tea party wing that is dead set against immigration. so they're all cross-purposes. >> don't trust the good will of the business community. and by the way, the labor unions ought to be jumping out there organizing everybody comes into the country legal or not. secondly, the business community doesn't want real immigration. >> they want low wages. >> they want to get them in here as fast and as cheap as they can. let me go to john about history. you and i remember i think back in 1988, the democrats had won a race. now, this is a race -- the key thing is not that you lose. they didn't lose by a huge amount. it's when you lose when you think you're going to win. that's when you rethink your party. just line dukakis. everybody thought the duke's got it. this is going to work. this is the new party. he's up by 17 in august, he loses by 8. he could have lost by more if the campaign continued the way it was going. this time they thought win, they kept thinking of george will, all the brainiacs, they lose by
about six. here's the question. are they going to do that kind of thing the democrats did, widen the party, go the dlc route, go for the middle, go for business and not go for just further right? which way are they redded right now? >> to do a little history quickly, the actual rethinking within the democratic party started after the 1984 loss to ronald reagan by walter mondale. and you had the emergence that year of gary hart and what they called the new democrats. and so that idea that we've got to broaden our appeal, get away from some of these kind of paleoliberal ideas that have been dominating the party for a long time really helped the democrats. it took eight years before they came back into power in 1992. but that rethinking period was enormously important. the republicans have not yet begun that process. >> yeah. >> they need to come to terms
with the fact that they just aren't appealing to enough people. and they also have what one "national review" writer, a conservative writer, recently called a culture of contempt in their party. they just disrespect voters, disrespect other people. they need a friendlier, more uplifting, more inclusive message. and if they don't get it, they won't get power back. >> yeah, the old comment i made back in 2000, later on in this cycle was that george w. bush spoke english like it was his foreign language and that al gore spoke as if it was your foreign language. what's worse, to be condescending or ignorant? the morning after conservatives were already falling into those two camps, hard right or change with the times. let's watch. >> i think he did honorably well, came pretty close, but he was a man -- he's a northeastern liberal, and that's not where we're going. i'm optimistic because there was a very strong republican bench
that did not enter the fray. when all the soul searching about what ideology we're going to pursue is going to come from them, and i think it will be a fairly reagan and conservative one. >> what's happening with the republicans is they are the republican party is a mad men family in a modern family america, and it just doesn't fit anymore. >> charles krauthammer, as you and i know, used to be a speechwriter for the aforementioned walter mondale. how times have changed. >> he is so out to lunch for a guy as smart as he is, the idea that their problem was they nominated a northeastern liberal, come on. you know? >> well, he must have some fish to fry. what's charles pushing right there? >> well, you know, he's a neocon, so i mean his priority over the next few years will be to make sure that they have this kind of very chauvinistic foreign policy. >> gene kirkpatrick being the star of that world. >> right. that's not going to bring them back to power either.
they need to obviously appeal to hispanics. everybody knows that. but they also need to figure out how to integrate all of these different wings of the party in a way that expands beyond aging white men. their party has become a regional white old party. and it doesn't cut it anymore in america. that's what this election showed. >> well, let's talk about what reasonable steps -- let's talk about -- can you, joy, see around the country and look at what they did become pretty much a white party, but a lot of that, in all fairness, has to do with the fact we have an afri n african-american president and there's going to be loyalty on that side to him, the whole role of the first, the first person always benefits tremendously from group loyalties. and here's the question. if we had had a white liberal running as a democrat instead of an african-american liberal or progressive, whatever the current term seems to be, i'd say liberal still works for me. but would there have been more
of an opportunity for the republicans, for example, to run an african-american, change things around that way? i mean, maybe a conservative. are they flexible enough to reach out to the classic american minority who are african-americans who have been around longer than the white people have been in this country, most of them? >> right. i think the problem is for the republican party, and it gets to some of what jonathan was saying is that their ideas and their philosophy, forgetting just their tone, which is very off-putting to african-americans, to latinos and young people. but their core philosophy is not popular with these minority groups. a lot of the messaging and the tone, you can't just try to find an african-american or a latino candidate who mouthed the same words. you're going to have to change the tone of the party. >> he did concede eventually. happy holidays. the best of campaign 2012. think of this as a football highlights show after the big game. corporations are people. 47%. the first debate.
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welcome back to "hardball." it's time for the campaign 2012 post-game show. we're going to start with the highlights of the primary season and the lowlights, of course, and then move on to the general election. mitt romney succinctly summed up the gop primary season in a now infamous call to donors. quote, we had 20 republican debates, that was absolutely nuts. and the tone was set early. and in august 2011 debate, when the candidates assembled on stage showed their intransigence on the issue of raising taxes. watch grover norquist's people go to work here. let's listen. >> well, i'm going to ask a question to everyone here on the stage. say you had a deal, a real
spending cuts deal, 10-1, as byron said, spending cuts to tax increases. speaker, you're already shaking your head. but who on this stage would walk away from that deal? would you raise your hand about feeling so strongly, you'd walk away on the 10-1 deal. >> whoa. joining me now to review that list of greatness, another highlights and lowlights of the gop primary season, former rnc chairman, michael steele, who never had a year like this. it was always a success over there, seriously. and the huffington post's howard fineman. both msnbc contributors. you come from the roots of the republican party, sir. so let me ask you this. was that a good day or bad day had they all went up there in lockstep? >> it was a bad day. i thought it very interesting later on that huntsman said, you know, i probably should have raised my hand and said i would have taken the 10-1 deal. and i think he recognized after the fact that that was a
definitive moment where he could have carved out a new space on that stage and probably run the kind of campaign free of that baggage. >> it wouldn't have looked very good after the election. >> right. >> he wouldn't have won. >> i'm just saying that moment sort of solidified. >> yeah, i agree with you. you know the old rule in politics, whenever a bill passed, you want to be the one that voted against it when it fails. >> i agree with the chairman that it was the beginning and end for jon huntsman, but it was also in the long term the beginning of the end for mitt romney. >> how so? >> well, because he began to lock himself into a position of grover norquisting himself for the whole election. and that played into who he was as a businessman. that played into the 47%. >> it's today's politics. it's like they used to say you have to be the most segregationist guy in the south. you can never be an inch away from it because somebody would always go to the right. >> i guess you could say that whatever an early primary season
crowd claps for furiously is going to kill you in october 15th in ohio. that's exactly what happened. >> i'm thrilled sometimes thinking how great politics is, these moments that you do. let's get back to the iowa caucus. iowa is another unique state in the caucuses. mitt romney's campaign and the super pac supporting him were on a mission to annihilate all competition with the ads. it was dresden, just bomb the hell out of the city. newt gingrich was the biggest threat. they destroyed him. let's watch. here's a romney supporting ad destroying newt. >> you know what makes barack obama happy? newt gingrich's baggage. newt has more baggage than the airlines. freddie mac helped cause the economic collapse, but gingrich cashed in. freddie mac paid newt $30,000 an hour. $1.6 million. gingrich not only teamed up with nancy pelosi on global warming, but together they co-sponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a u.n. program
supporting china's brutal one-child policy. >> you know there's been a lot of discussion in my head whether ads work in primary elections. people have made up their mind, no ad's going to change their mind. >> primaries -- yeah, in primaries, they are deadly, particularly in republican primaries. and that ad in particular for newt gingrich was devastating because it hit -- it was the kitchen sink. it threw it all in there. >> what did it say about him that they didn't like? >> it said that, you know, he's an insider. >> washington pal. >> he's a washington pal. >> yeah. >> look, he even pals around with nancy pelosi. didn't we just fire her? >> didn't you see those loving looks that they managed to work with the camera shot there, the loving looks? >> real quick on that. the interesting thing, and i would have pivoted off of that caption of him and nancy together because that's what the people are looking for, that partnership working, getting things done. >> but they were talking about global warming, an anathema in your party. >> it's not. shouldn't be.
>> that was symbolic of the entire mitt romney campaign strategy in the primaries. which was a sort of take no prisoners, attack the other guy strategy. it wasn't about philosophy. it did nothing to show that mitt romney was a committed conservative. it just showed that mitt romney had tons of money and some very clever consultants who would carve up anybody in his path. that left him with a lot of making up to do once he secured the nomination. the way he got the nomination as typified by that ad showed weakness in his campaign. >> let's go back to this strategy. somebody is going to be the republican nominee, and that person's going to beat obama. therefore all you have to do is be that nominee. wasn't that his theory? >> that was his theory. and neil sedaka's "making up is hard to do." once mitt romney secured the nomination in the early spring, having everyone fall in line. >> how many verses can you do of
that? >> a couple. throughout the republican primary, mitt romney pushed himself so far to the right, we know this part is true, especially on immigration, and of course a correction was near impossible. i don't think he even tried one. here's the immigration exchange that became a defining line on the hard right for romney. let's listen. >> let's stay on immigration for a second. governor romney, one thing i'm confused about. you say you don't want to round up people and deport them, but you also say they would have to go back to their home countries and then apply for citizenship. so if you don't deport them, how do you send them home? >> the answer is self-deportation which is people decide that they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here. so we're not going to round people up. >> so what was wrong with that, howard? >> well, first of all, there was a little titter there in the background. first of all, the phrase "self-deportation" -- >> was inevident reply a headline. >> yes, and it managed to summarize everything that people didn't like about mitt romney. >> like firing you? >> well, the firing you part of
it and the sort of cold technocratic part of it, that these are just sort of numbers on a spreadsheet. these people will self-deport. and i think the combination of the two, the cold-heartedness and the cold-bloodedness of it played into everybody's view of romney. >> like the bathtub's going to overflow and these people are going to flow out in numbers. >> it's just not realistic. the snickering you heard even among republicans in the hall was like grandpa's going to wake up tomorrow, you know what? mitt said i should self-deport. >> you're saying because you were born here. we'll be back to talk about the big moments in the general election. we're going positive in a moment. up next, the right wing's most outrageous conspiracy theories about president obama, of course their favorite target. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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now that the final weeks of obama's first term are upon us, it's hard to remember the many bizarre conspiracy theories. let's look back at some of the worst first. president obama's 2010 trip to india, remember that one? u.s. congresswoman michele bachmann and others on the right were up in arms over rumors about what the trip would cost. >> i think we know that just within a day or so, the president of the united states will be taking a trip over to india that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. we have never seen a trip at this level before, of this level of excess. and i think it's not a good signal to send to the american people when the american people are quite frankly struggling right now with high job losses. >> anyway, for comparison, by the way, $200 million a day
would have surpassed the daily cost of the war in afghanistan at the time. that nonfactual story from michele bachmann about the cost of obama's trip was started by an unnamed source on an indian news website and somehow got into the ether. rush limbaugh. remember the first day of the republican convention was canceled due to hurricane isaac? well, rush then floated the idea that president obama was somehow involved with the weather reports, showing that tampa might get hit. >> got a hurricane coming. the national hurricane center, which is a government agency, is very hopeful that the hurricane gets near tampa. the national hurricane center's obama. it's the national weather service, part of the commerce department. it's obama. i can see obama sending fema in in advance of the hurricane hitting tampa. so that the republican convention is nothing but a bunch of tents in tampa, a bunch
of rvs and stuff. make it look like a disaster area before the hurricane even hits there. >> was he laughing at his own b.s. there? did you ever think rush limbaugh would warn us of a skewed weather report? yeah, actually. next, an extreme case of pre-election fearmongering. what caused a judge down in texas to float the idea of a tax increase in his state? it was about the need to beef up the military personnel, he said, in case civil war breaks out because president obama got re-elected. and here's judge head on that one. >> i'm thinking worst-case scenario. >> right. >> civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. we're not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. we're talking lexington concord take up arms and get rid of the guy. he's going to send in u.n. troops. i don't want him in lubbock county, okay? so i'm going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say you're not coming in here. and the sheriff, i've already
asked him, are you going to back me? he said yeah, i'll back wiyou. >> looney tunes. that was his idea of a worst-case scenario. birtherism with a twist. iowa u.s. congressman steve king with how president obama's mother managed to convince us all that her son was born in hawaii, not in kenya. >> i looked into that before he was sworn in for the presidency. we went down into the library of congress, and we found a microfish there of only two newspapers in hawaii. each of them had published the birther barack obama. it would have been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of barack obama being born in hawaii. that doesn't mean that there aren't some other explanations on how they might have announced that by telegram from kenya. the list goes on. >> by telegram. i guess she neglected to consider, the mother, that naming her son barack hussein obama might be a minor setback for her son's future run for the presidency.
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